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#1587 - 03/13/10 05:24 PM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
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I've seen The Nose twice on stage, both times sung in English, and enjoyed it both times, so I listened to it again this evening. I like most Shostakovich, even though, generally speaking, I'm more of a Prokofiev man. The BBC followed it up with Rachmaninov's Aleko, which I saw at the Mariinsky in St Petersburg last year and enjoyed hearing again - it's a sort of cross between Carmen and Il Tabarro.

Next week, the BBC will follow the Met broadcast of From the House of the Dead with Bluebeard's Castle - gloom all round!

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#1588 - 03/13/10 10:38 PM Re: Opera 2
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
I, too, like Shostakovich, although I am partial to the orchestral stuff...but I had to be somewhere this afternoon and only caught the last few minutes.
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#1589 - 03/15/10 04:17 PM Re: Opera 2
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
And I was out of town all day with friends, going to the theater in Virginia. I was interested in this one too; surreal and extreme as it is, The Nose interests me, and what I've heard about the production interests me too.

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#1590 - 03/15/10 06:03 PM Re: Opera 2
Christopher Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
I gave up on it. This opera is clearly something I need to see as well as hear before I could get plugged in, and this production sounded like a good one. Frankly, the music annoyed me. Peppy, discordant orchestral tunes that might as well have lyrics along the lines of "I'm being funny now." Somber, heavy chords that wag their finger at you and tell you to pay attention because something serious is coming. I need to see it.

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#1591 - 03/26/10 07:40 PM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Hamlet tomorrow. Or Prosciuttino, according to Anna Russell. I'm looking forward to this; all I know of Thomas is Mignon. Next-to-last simulcast of the season.

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#1592 - 03/27/10 01:08 PM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just listening to the Juntwait/Siff show as I type. The big number is Ophelia's mad scene, recorded by Callas and others.

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#1593 - 03/28/10 01:09 PM Re: Opera 2
Anonymous
Unregistered


So, Barbara, how did you like it?

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#1594 - 03/29/10 02:54 AM Re: Opera 2
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Well, I liked it, with reservations. I think I liked the singing more than the music. There were high spots -- the drinking song, the first interlude, etc. -- but all separated by long stretches of forgettable music. Rather like Gounod in that respect. But my primary reservation -- well, blame Shakespeare.

It's difficult to keep the play out of your head while watching the opera, and I wasn't entirely successful. I know everything in the play can't be included; there have to be drastic cuts. So it comes down to a question of choices made of what to cut and what to keep, and I can't help but think the librettist missed the boat in so many places. One example of a bad choice, and then I'll quit. The opera is more than half over when a new character walks out onto the stage for no discernible reason, and he finds Claudius worrying that he will be found out. The new character sings one line, advising Claudius to hold fast. Then he leaves. An eavesdropping Hamlet thoughtfully informs the audience that that was Polonius, Ophélie's father. And that one line is the only line Polonius sings in the entire opera. Better just to cut the character entirely.

It was a brown production. An almost bare stage, a few movable brown walls. Brown costumes for the most part. I was disappointed at not getting to hear Natalie Dessay (no, Marlis Petersen is not just as good), but Simon Keenlyside is a marvel; he alone is reason enough to go to this opera. I left the theater satisfied and glad I went, but I also understand why this Hamlet was last performed at the Met 118 years ago.

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#1595 - 03/30/10 10:01 AM Re: Opera 2
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
Yet Shakespeare had been done brilliantly as opera...notably by Verdi (and Boito)...

[This message has been edited by Kay (edited 03-30-2010).]
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#1596 - 04/10/10 05:35 PM Re: Opera 2
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
My local radio station always follows the Saturday Met broadcast with a recording of another opera, and I don't like that. You shouldn't go straight from one opera just completed right into a different one. Today it was Rigoletto, which I love...normally. But today all it did was spoil my Mozart buzz.

What do you folks listen to after an opera broadcast?

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